SAQ discounts questioned
A report in a Montreal paper is alleging that the SAQ is getting very rich while making consumers believe they are saving money on discounted wines.
La Presse reported today the cost of a one or two dollar rebate on a bottle of wine is recouped by producers and the provincial liquor board by selling the wine at a higher overall cost.
The SAQ says they negotiate tough prices with their suppliers, and that sour grapes may be behind some of the allegations that appeared in the report.
A representative said that they are always looking for the best price and best quality for consumers.
That doesn't wash with wine blogger and critic Yves Mailloux. He says the discounts are a clever marketing scheme to get buyers to pay more.
"Each time you buy a bottle at regular price, you're overpaying for it," he says. "And wine you buy at a special reduction once or twice a year will get you all excited."
The SAQ's Renaud Dugas said suppliers have promotional money in their budgets designed to increase their visibility to consumers, and that it is built into their wholesale price.
The paper says the practice nearly doubled the SAQ's profits, from 540 million dollars in 2003 to about a billion in 2012-2013.